Sports ministry replaces Solomon Ogba in AFN board
• Dare begins payment of athletes’ allowances
The sports ministry yesterday confirmed the nomination of Ahmed Ahidjo Isa Kaita as replacement for Solomon Ogba, who resigned from the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) in December last year.
Ogba, who is the Chairman of the Delta State Athletics Association, decided to step down from the AFN board due to what he termed ‘undue interference’ in the activities of the federation. He was the immediate past president of the AFN.
In a letter made available to The Guardian yesterday signed by a Permanent Secretary in the sports ministry, Gabriel Tanimu Aduda, titled Re: Nomination as the ministry’s representative on the board of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) reads: “I am directed to refer you to the above named subject matter and to convey the approval of your nomination as a representative of the Ministry on the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN). Your nomination is with immediate effect and you are to replace Chief Solomon Ogba on the board.”
Kaita, a sports philanthropist, has taken the slot of Philanthropist/Ex-Officio hitherto occupied by Ogba.Ogba had complained that he was not comfortable with the ‘dirty politicking’ that had taken over the AFN, and that informed his decision to quit the board.
Among other things, Ogba had stated in his letter of resignation signed by Olukayode Thomas that: “As an elder statesman in sports and athletics, in particular, I cannot sit and continue to watch things done wrongly. Though I have withdrawn from the AFN board, I will continue giving his support to athletics in Delta State and Nigeria as a whole.”
Meanwhile, the Minister for Youth and Sports Development has fulfilled his promise to pay Nigeria’s youth and junior athletes to the CAA U-18/U-20 championships in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire last April allowances owed them by the AFN under the leadership of the now suspended president Shehu Ibrahim Gusau.
The athletes competed in the competition under the harshest of conditions, travelling by road for three days and were denied their allowances even after the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development allegedly released N13m for the competition.
The athletes, through their acting representative on the board of the AFN, Charles Himah and the acting president of the federation, George appealed to the Sports Minister to look into the athletes’ predicament.
The Sports Minister, who revealed at the start of the new year that athletes welfare would be one of his focus in his sports development policy made good his promise and ordered that the athletes should be paid part of their allowances.
“We are very grateful to the Honourable Minister for coming to the rescue of the athletes who were subjected to indecent treatments just because they wanted to represent their country, Nigeria,’ said George, who confirmed that the athletes started receiving bank alerts last weekend.
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